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Wednesday News, October 17

Plymouth County Supervisors Approve Regional Mental Health Program

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors have given their approval for a regional mental health services program.  The supervisors took that action during their weekly meeting held Tuesday.  Due to budget cuts, and an increase number of cases, many counties simply cannot afford to provide all the mental health services that are required.  The state suggested counties form their alliance with other counties.  Plymouth county has proposed a region that would consist of Woodbury, Plymouth, Sioux and Cherokee counties.  Woodbury County Supervisors have also adopted the proposed region.  With the new regional mental health program, will it mean a lost of local control for mental health services?  Sharon
Nieman, Plymouth County CPC director offers this explanation.
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There is shared concern that some mental health services may be dropped as a result of the regional system.  Nieman says that may fall upon the state legislature as to how much funding they wish to provide.
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Police Investigating Bike-Car Accident

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars Police are investigating an accident that occurred Tuesday afternoon at
about 5:00 p.m. involving a bicycle and a car.  The accident happened near the Country Store
convenience store located on Plymouth Street S.W. The injured victim was a juvenile female
and was apparently struck by a car when the bike tried to cross the street.  The victim was
transported to the Floyd Valley Hospital.  Responding to the accident were the Le Mars
Police Department, the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department, and the Le Mars Ambulance.  No
word yet on the names of those involved, or the condition of the juvenile victim.


Oyens Lifts Boil Order

(Oyens) -- Oyens residents once again have clean fresh water that is free of bacteria.  Oyens mayor, Cheryl Christman has announced that as of October 16th the water system has been shock chlorinated and the bacteria samples were satisfactory.  Christman says it is no longer necessary for the residents of Oyens to boil water before use.

Authorities Look For Escaped Inmate

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say they're looking for a 28-year-old Iowa inmate who's been listed as escaped from a work release facility in Sioux City.
The Iowa Corrections Department says Justin Miller didn't return to the facility as scheduled on Friday.
Miller was transferred to work release last month. He originally was sentenced to a maximum of 15 years following assault convictions in Woodbury County.
Miller began his prison term in April 2009.


Sioux City Gas Station Robbed

(Sioux City) -- Sioux City Police are searching for the man that they say robbed a gas station at gun point.  Pronto Express located at 1800 N. Lewis Blvd. was robbed on Tuesday at about 4:40 p.m.  The suspect is identified as a thin five foot - nine inch African-American wearing a ski mask.  The man demanded money from the gas station and then fled.  Police are not saying how much money was stolen. Two customers were in the station at the time.  No one was injured.


Grassley Visits Le Mars High School Students

(Le Mars) -- Iowa Republican Senator, Chuck Grassley met with the Le Mars High School government class students during a question and answer session held this morning.  Grassley was asked everything from how did he enter politics to questions relating to the recent U-S ambassador's shooting death, to would there be a Social Security program when the students of today reach retirement age?  He was also asked by a student whether the U-S government should implement a drug-testing program for welfare recipients.  Grassley visited with the students about the Constitution, saying "our form of government is different from any other government in the world." He informed the students that the constitution was set up on the principle of limited government.  He also encouraged the students to consider applying for an internship with his office.  What was the Senator's opinion of the students and of their questions?
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Speaker Boehner To Visit Iowa

CORALVILLE, Iowa (AP) - House Speaker John Boehner plans to meet with Republican volunteers in Iowa as they campaign to oust President Barack Obama from office.
The Ohio Republican who has often sparred with Obama is scheduled to appear at a Republican Party office in Coralville on Wednesday afternoon.
Boehner's visit will come just hours after Obama is expected to speak about 25 miles away, at Cornell College in Mount Vernon. It also comes as all four of Iowa's congressional races remain up for
Organizers say Boehner will deliver remarks on the national debt and deficit. He and Obama negotiated but failed last year to reach agreement on a package of spending cuts and revenue increases to combat the problem, with each blaming the other for the failure.

Occupy Des Moines Say They Will Disrupt World Food Prize

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - More than 1,000 scientists and agribusiness leaders are expected in Des Moines this week for the World Food Prize Foundation's annual discussion of efforts to reduce world hunger.
The event also is attracting protesters who hope to disrupt an award ceremony to be attended by dignitaries including the United Nations secretary-general.
Members of Occupy Des Moines plan to be arrested as they obstruct participants at the foundation's headquarters on Wednesday and at the Iowa Capitol on Thursday before the $250,000 prize is given to Israeli scientist Daniel Hillel.
Organizer Frank Cordaro says the group opposes corporate agriculture motivated more by profit than food safety or protection of natural resources.
Foundation President Kenneth Quinn says he's disappointed the prize dedicated to ending world hunger would be the target of civil disobedience.

Iowa National Guard To Celebrate Homecoming

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A homecoming celebration is planned for 30 members of the Iowa Air National Guard returning home from a tour of duty in Southeast Asia.
The guard says the airmen from the 132nd Fighter Wing in De Moines are scheduled to return to Des Moines Wednesday morning.
The airmen have been in Southeast Asia for the past six months.



Tuesday News, October 16

Senator Grassley To Visit With Le Mars Community High School Students

(Le Mars) -- Iowa Republican Senator, Chuck Grassley will hold a question and answer session with the Le Mars Community junior class students today at the Le Mars Community High School.  Grassley will visit with the students starting at 10:00 a.m. and continue his visit for an hour.


Vilsack to Visit Le Mars On Wednesday

(Le Mars) -- Democratic Congressional candidate Christie Vilsack has announced she will make a visit to Le Mars.  Vilsack, who is seeking to unseat Republican Congressman Steve King in the new 4th District is  scheduled to stop by the Plymouth County Democratic Headquarters located at 34 Central Avenue, Northeast.  Vilsack will make her appearance on Wednesday, October 17th between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.  Vilsack's visit is part of her Value of Common Sense Tour.  She will also stop at Sioux City, Cherokee, Storm Lake, and Lake View.


Gehlen and Opportunities Unlimited Honored

(Le Mars) -- At a kick-off pep rally held yesterday, Gehlen Catholic School and Opportunities Unlimited recognized their "star" achievers for the collaboration between the two institutions.  Gehlen was using the opportunity to begin the next fund raising campaign year by once again selling Jumpy Monkey coffee from Opportunities Unlimited.  During the rally, Gehlen Catholic principal Jeff Alesch made a special announcement about the partnership.
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Alesch went on to talk about the Iowa Network of Community School Partnership Program uses
for its criteria.

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Alesch told the students and faculty that the affinity Gehlen has with Opportunities Unlimited is more than just selling coffee.

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Gehlen Catholic will learn more about their honor in mid-November when they will be recognized at the Iowa School Board convention.

Harvest Running A Month Ahead Of Schedule

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa farmers are close to wrapping up this year's harvest as much needed rain finally fell across most of the state.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says 87 percent of the corn crop has been harvested, which is a month ahead of schedule.  Ninety-three percent of the soybean crop is in from the fields, which is three weeks ahead of normal.
The USDA says in Monday's report that rain over the weekend helped Iowa's pasture and range land. Hay supplies are running short across 41 percent of the state. Calves are being weaned and
sold early due to the short supply of winter hay.
The statewide average rainfall last week was 1.65 inches, triple the normal for the week. It was Iowa's wettest week since early May.


EPA Extends Comment Period

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Environmental Protection Agency has extended the comment period on proposals by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to change regulations of livestock operations to be in compliance with federal Clean Water Act.
The Des Moines Register says the EPA has extended the period by two weeks until Oct. 31.
In July, the EPA said Iowa's program is not sufficient to assess whether livestock confinements need to obtain federal waste discharge permits. It also says Iowa's inspection program is inadequate and the state failed to act in nearly half of the water quality violation cases against cattle farms that the EPA reviewed.
The report was done in response to a petition filed in 2007 by three environmental groups that alleged Iowa fell far short of meeting enforcement requirements.


Man In Custody After Being Charged With Killing 5 Year Old Girl

CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) - A man charged with killing an Iowa girl in 2005 is now in state custody.
Thirty-three-year-old Casey Frederiksen is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree sexual abuse in the death of 5-year-old Evelyn Miller.
State agents took custody of Frederiksen on Monday from a federal penitentiary in Marion, Ill., where he's serving time on child pornography and drug charges. He'll make an initial court appearance Tuesday at the Floyd County Courthouse in Charles City.
Frederiksen was the boyfriend of the child's mother. He was watching the girl at the family's apartment in Floyd when she disappeared. Her body was found in the Cedar River days later.
Frederiksen was charged last month. Prosecutors say he changed his story while in federal prison and inmates say he made incriminating statements.


Linn County Won't File Charges Against Friend of Auditor

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Linn County won't file fraud or other charges against a man hired by the man's close friend, County Auditor Joel Miller.
The Gazette reports ( that County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden told county supervisors on Monday there isn't enough evidence to support charges against Joe Clarahan. Clarahan
was hired to more than a year ago to implement software for managing facilities maintenance.
County Finance Director Steve Tucker has said Clarahan accomplished "virtually nothing" on the project. Clarahan has declined to comment.
Vander Sanden's report to the supervisors criticized Miller management of Clarahan and said Clarahan's hiring "raises the specter of blatant cronyism."
Miller said Monday that the allegations and investigations were timed to damage his re-election bid against Republican challenger Garth Fagerbakke.

Fontanelle Residents Under Boil Order

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Residents of Fontanelle (FAHN'-tuh-nel) in southwest Iowa and part of Walford, near Cedar Rapids, are being asked to boil their drinking water for now.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says a break in a large water main in Fontanelle left the city without water. Crews were working on Monday to repair the break and restore service. Breaks
in pipes can allow contaminants to enter the water system.
In Walford, water samples taken during routine testing in the Clover Ridge Subdivision tested positive for E. coli bacteria.  Three out of four subsequent samples taken on Oct. 11 tested positive for total bacteria, but did not contain E. coli. The subdivision plans to chlorinate the wells and retest the water.



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